In the thick of COVID-19, the world is practising social distancing, social isolation and in some circumstances, being placed under lockdowns in an effort to flatten the curve and limit the spread of the virus. The crisis has affected everyone in different ways, but for those who have access to technology, it has allowed access to a few of the pleasures of the outside world from home.
This has allowed some to continue working remotely, continue schooling, take up online exercise classes, and keep in touch with friends and family. For some, there’s more opportunity to do those things that were always on the checklist list “if only I had the time.”
One such option is online capacity development. There are numerous virtual learning platforms, including webinars, short courses, and even degrees.
As evaluation specialists, we’d like to suggest several resources for those wanting to brush up on their monitoring and evaluation (M&E) knowledge and skills. These resources can be useful for M&E practitioners, development sector workers, government staff and funders working in the evaluation sector.
Some are free while some have a cost, some earn you a certificate and others not. Some are self-paced and others have deadlines; the options vary. Here are a few options to try out:
- MEASURE Evaluation – Certificate Courses
- MEASURE Evaluation – Capacity Building Resources
- MEASURE Evaluation – Webinars
- EvalPartners, e-Learning Programme in Development Evaluation
- Global Health e-Learning Center, Monitoring and Evaluation
- University of Minnesota – Assessment and Evaluation Spring Webinar Series
- edX (Massachusetts Institute for Technology) – Designing and running randomised evaluations
- edX (University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg) – Results-based project management: Monitoring and Evaluation
- Alison – Designing and implementing monitoring and evaluation systems – Revised
- Philanthropy University (FHI360) – Planning for monitoring and evaluation
- Udemy – Monitoring and Evaluation
- PCMi – Monitoring and Evaluation Training and Events
- Boston University, School of Public Health – Program Evaluation
Online learning resources – for everyone
For many of us, taking on an online course may still be out of reach given limited time, cost implications and increased responsibilities in the home due to lockdowns. BetterEvaluation is an excellent resource hub for anyone and everyone involved in evaluation work.
The platform is free and contains resources useful and applicable to any NPOs, funders, government, and external evaluators, at any level of an organisation one might be working in; junior to senior.
BetterEvaluation is a one-stop-shop for all evaluation-related queries, insights, and trending topics. The website includes a BetterEvaluation Resource Library, consisting of over 1600 evaluation resources including overviews, guides, examples, tools or toolkits, and discussion papers. The site also includes free training webinars, links to online courses and events, forums, and case studies.
Another great resource offered on the platform is its blogs. These are quick and easy to read and discuss current trends in evaluation and topics. The whole website is geared towards improving evaluation capacity and practice.
In early April, world-renowned evaluator and CEO of BetterEvalution, Patricia Rogers, published a blog on the website communicating how they would be responding to COVID-19, which includes working collaboratively to create, share and support the use of knowledge about evaluation, and endeavouring to curate additional content to address the current context including:
- Real-time evaluation
- Evaluation for adaptive management
- Addressing equity in evaluation
- Evaluation for accountability and resource allocation
- Ways of doing evaluation within physical distancing constraints
- Ways of working effectively online
- Resources relating to evaluation in the COVID19 pandemic
Time to start learning
As such, BetterEvaluation has its finger on the pulse of the pandemic and how it will affect the evaluation world, and is committed to delivering up-to-date content for any evaluation practitioner to remain informed and adapt to circumstances.
Keep checking the website in the coming weeks to see when this content becomes available.
By Jenna Joffe